The Lurgy

Well, when ET went down with what we thought were the chicken pox I was forced to take time off work. Naively, I thought that although it was very frustrating to have to take ANOTHER day of carers’ leave at least I might get some extra crafting done. Quite the opposite…I got nothing done. Then, when Mr Stepherella went down with what turned out NOT to be the chicken pox, I got even less done. All that to say that I’ve got nothing much to report on the crafting front!! Oh, other than my attempt at ginger biscuits further confirmed that baking is not my forte!

I’ve been participating on and off in the #sewphotohop over on Instagram. I’ve not managed even close to every day, but I’ve had a pretty good try and I’ve really enjoyed looking at other people’s photos. In other news, I’ve bought Lisa Comfort’s new ebook, My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break. I bought it entirely on impulse because I loved the Molly top and dress pattern. I’ve been longingly looking at fabrics ever since but I’m trying not to buy anything new until all current projects are complete. Watch this space!

I’ve also started trying to schedule crafting time. I’m starting by trying to manage 15 minutes a day and then increase it little by little. There will be days when I can manage more, certainly, but what I want to try and achieve a little continuity. Let’s see how I’m getting on when I check in next week (because blogging once each week is also in the schedule!

 

 

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Blog Night

Wednesday night is blog night! Well, that and ironing night usually! Mr Stepherella is out and ET is usually in bed and asleep by 7, although currently I can hear him banging around in his cot so I don’t think he’s asleep yet. But he’s not disturbing me so it’s my time!

I don’t have anything particular to share this week, crafting wise anyway. We were on holiday last week in Anglesey with friends. It was a really great place to go with children with the beach really close (Rhosneigr) and the cottage we stayed in was absolutely lovely. I managed a bit of knitting (I was in great company as my friend was also knitting whilst away) and we all got involved in a kid’s scrapbook But that was where the holiday crafting ended! But we built a lot of sandcastles, paddled in the sea, watched the kite surfers, hung out with great friends, ate good food and drank great wine! What more can you ask from a holiday?!

We’ve been back 5 days. In that time I’ve done some work on the scrapbooks – they’re taking a lot of time and I have further confirmed that this is not the craft for me. I don’t have the skills to put together a particularly pleasing page nor the organisation to put it together as I go! As a result I have lots of pretty paper, photos and annotations in a box and I’m slowly constructing each page. Still, hopefully the intended recipients will like them!

(Oh…that’s ET squeaking! I have one ear open to see whether it escalates but hopefully he will send himself to sleep in due course!)

We’ve got some other little jobs done around the house – well, Mr Stepherella has. Some pictures have finally gone up on the wall and most excitingly we finally sorted out the “study” aka the craft room/computer room. We call it the study but very little studying goes on in there! I have a one end for all things crafting and Mr Stepherella is slowly setting up for a computer gaming corner at the other end. Today we went to Ikea and bought some shelves, storage boxes and a new chair and I spent this afternoon sorting everything out. It was sorted inasmuch as it existed since we moved in but now it’s starting to look pretty – just some pictures for the wall now. No photos yet as it’s still so new but all in due course.

The kitchen has looked a bit like an episode of The Good Life. I harvested the lavender from the garden, whilst Mr Stepherella has been busy jam making and fermenting wine. The smell in the house right now is quite overwhelming but it’s very exciting (and the jam was very tasty!).

And that’s it for now! Best get on with the ironing and prepare for my return to work tomorrow!

Oh…before I go, I’m going to try and take part in the #sewphotohop over on Instagram hosted by Rachel (@houseofpinheiro) of House of Pinheiro. Find me @steph_er_ella and let me know if you’re playing along so I can find you too!

Getting my Ducks in a Row

I’ve nothing new to show. That’s not because I’ve not been doing anything but because I’m trying to do too much. It is one of my shortcomings that I have a tendency to start too many projects at one time and then never know where to get started! I thought I’d share a few things in the hope that publicly declaring my intentions to complete them all will actually motivate me to actually do so!

The first thing on my list is my Sewaholic Granville shirt. I started this at a class with Janet of Kitchen Table Sewing. I didn’t complete it during the class and then we moved house and I’ve been a little distracted by other projects. Add to that, I stopped between making the two sleeve plackets and I’ve struggled to remember what I did the first time round in order to do the second. I think I’ve remembered now so no excuses!! Janet…I will finish this, honest!! Here it is in its current state…I’m pretty proud of the finish on this project so far so I really want to be able to wear it. I should probably say thank you to all the ladies of The Monthly Stitch Facebook page, who gave me great advice on fit. So far, so good on this front.

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I’m also in the process of completing some scrapbooks as presents. Because they are presents, I won’t share any pictures of the actual things here in case they see it -but currently they’re stored in a box and look like this! These are overdue (as always as my family will tell you) and I really MUST get them done. I did run out of the right glue, which halted progress for a while but a trip to Hobycraft last weekend has rectified this and so no more excuses.

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The other major projects relate to our new house. I’m planning to make curtains and a coordinating quilt for the master bedroom. The first photo below is the curtain fabric and the other photos are sneak peaks of the quilt. The fabrics are Lewis and Irene, purchased from Empress Mills, of the New Forest range. I bought a Jelly roll for the quilt pieces. I love them but hope that it won’t be a too overwhelming when all put together.

Finally, I got a lampshade kit from The Makery for my birthday and I intend to make a lampshade for our hallway. I haven’t yet decided on the colour but I have some ideas.

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I say finally because I also have fabric for a top and a dress – who knows when I’ll get around to these. I wish I had more time in the day and more days in the week…what with a small child, a new job and working part time I feel like I never quite have enough time. But I am getting better at fitting in the odd half an hour here and there. Maybe other working mums have some tips for fitting in craft time! And maybe I should stop blogging and get on with creating!!

Leftover Blue

I failed to mention in my last post that we’ve finally moved house! Actually, we moved in on the 12th June so we’ve been in a while now. We got the basics unpacked pretty quickly. It’s taking a bit longer to get the final boxes unpacked and, as expected, much longer to really make it our own. I’m really impatient to have it all done and everything to our taste. In reality, I know that it will take a while and I am enjoying the planning process…that is endless hours on the interweb looking at pictures of shelving and paint colours!!

We had a bit of overlap between this new house and our rental property which allowed us to clean the house extensively and get ET’s bedroom decorated. Mr Stepherella started off the decorating and my father-in-law finished off…White walls with one blue feature wall. He also very helpfully put up some shelves on the feature wall for us. We already had the cot-bed and purchased other furniture from Ikea, including a Rast chest of drawers. I had the tester pots of emulsion from when I was choosing colours and decided that these could be used to customise the chest of drawers.

Despite being the daughter of a builder, my DIY skills are limited and so google came to my rescue on how to use emulsion to paint wood! I found a tutorial (which I have been unable to locate again to share with you – I’ll update when I have some success!). Anyway, it’s fair to say I read the tutorial and then did my own thing anyway! I only painted the surfaces that were visible as we had already constructed the chest of drawers and used it before painting. Next time, I would definitely paint before construction – it would be much much easier and neater!

 

Each surface had two primer coats (emulsion diluted 1/3) and 3 top coats. The surfaces were sanded in between coats (except the primer coats) and after painting was complete. I then finished it with boiled linseed oil to seal it.

 

I’m pretty pleased with the result, although the linseed oil has made the white paint slightly yellow. I like how the grain in the wood still shows though and because the colours match what is on the wall it looks really great in ET’s room. Anyway, here is the finished product – see what you think.

Now I must get back to the sewing….a few too many unfinished items in the sewing box!

Customised Ikea Rast